Charlie Adam is a player that divides opinion. Some see him as offering a genuine threat in the final third and in possession of a wonderful range of passing; his detractors often state that he lacks composure against top-class opposition and that he can be too prone to Hollywood balls. As is often with cases like this, the truth lies somewhere in between. What is without question though, is the pivotal role which Adam has in this new-look Liverpool side, which brings me to the point, if you take Adam out of the side, does it affect the balance of this Liverpool side? And is it for the better?
It’s my contention that Liverpool operate best in a 4-3-3 formation with Suarez as the focal point of the team’s attack. It allows a fluidity to their attacking play and it draws the best out of those around the Uruguayan. However, trying to pin down Dalglish to a consistent formation is like trying to nail jelly to a wall.
So far, Adam has started in every single league game this season for his new club and has a respectable three assists and one goal from his first six league outings. Last season at Blackpool, Adam struck twelve times and created nine goals in what was ultimately an exciting but unfulfilled campaign. It’s obvious what he brings to the party – the much-coveted and often elusive ‘end product’.
The Scotland international was deployed in a two-man midfield alongside Lucas Leiva against Spurs, but during his stay at Anfield thus far, he’s predominantly been used as one part of a triumvarite. To put it simply, the theory behind the Lucas/Adam axis is that the Brazilian holding man does the tackling, and that Adam does the distributing. So far, the results have been mixed
It’s worked when this Liverpool side has been on top, but when they’ve been put under pressure, as they were in the game at White Hart Lane, Adam’s lack of pace has been found wanting and he has been guilty of diving in far too easily on occasion.
When Dalglish has opted for a midfield three, Jordan Henderson has come in alongside both Adam and Lucas and the balance struck has certainly been a lot better. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the line-up that Blackpool went for last season with Adam in the side. Lucas doubles as David Vaughan and Henderson as either Elliot Grandin or Keith Southern.
Playing in a three-man midfield, as Liverpool have done at times this season, is what suits Adam best. It grants him more freedom, time on the ball and less of a disciplined role in tracking back. But does this then mean that Adam needs a degree of protection in order to get the best out him?
A fact that is often glossed over, though, is just how poor Adam’s disciplinary record has been since his stay in the top flight. His record of 13 yellow cards and 1 red card since the start of last season is second only to Newcastle’s Cheik Tiote. He finished last season with the third-most fouls in the league, behind just Tiote and Kevin Davies. He’s already joint-second this season, alongside who I hear you cry? That’s right, you guessed it, our man in the north, Cheik Tiote.
Pages: 1 2